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Training camp is set to open on July 26th and the Rams are ready to resume business. The Rams massive roster overhaul has many asking which players are actually going to be there long term. One player can now be taken off the board as the Rams signed wide receiver Brandin Cooks to a 5 year $80 million extension, per Adam Schefter. Cooks came to LA via New England prior to the draft. The Rams gave up their first-round pick (23rd overall).

Brandin Cooks has amassed 3,943 yards and 27 TDs in four seasons with the Saints and Patriots. The extension officially locks up the Rams receiving corps for the long term with Robert Woods being in year two of a five-year deal and Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds still being on rookie deals. The only lingering offensive player to be extended is running back Todd Gurley. Sean McVay was enamored with Cooks and the Rams were content to let Sammy Watkins go at the end of last season.

What is curious about this extension is that it comes before an extension for Aaron Donald. Donald is obviously the elephant in the room in regards to the Rams. The team spent all this money and draft capital on building a super team and Donald is a free agent next season. It is possible that getting the Cooks extension out of the way makes it easier to figure out Donald’s potentially record-breaking deal.

Donald could still be extended before the start of camp but for now, the timing seems odd. Aside from being extended before Donald, Cooks’ extension is strange given he has yet to play a snap for the team. The thinking was the Rams were going to let him play out his one year deal and see how he fits in the offense. Clearly, McVay is already sold.

Sports Al Dente 2019

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